One of the biggest stars on the Formula 1 racing circuit drives a Honda, and he´ll soon be flying one. Jenson Button was introduced at EBACE 2008 as the first European customer for the HondaJet. A large crowd formed at the Honda booth at the PalExpo convention center in Geneva to catch a glimpse of the popular F-1 driver, who bought two aircraft and is planning to build a new charter service. Honda also used the occasion to announce the establishment of three HondaJet sales and service centers, which, as their U.S. counterparts do, bear a strong resemblance to car dealerships. The service centers will be in Farnborough (a partnership with TAG), Frankfurt (Rheinland Air Service) and Madrid (Aviastec).
The announcement was Honda´s debut at EBACE, and the market potential has not been lost on company executives. "Europe is one of the world´s fastest growing markets for light jets, and we have a gret number of customers who have contacted us over the past two years about owning a HondaJet," said Honda Aircraft CEO Michimasa Fujino. Fujino told the crowd the prototype aircraft was unavailable for the show because it´s undergoing intensive flight tests.